S.B. 604 permits school districts to charge fees for the support of full-day kindergarten programs.
A school district board that maintains kindergarten classes for a full school day of not less than six hours may charge fees to offset the costs directly attributable to maintenance of such classes. Fees may be collected only for costs attributable to the classes that are in excess of the amount for maintenance of kindergartens financed under the school finance law.
The kindergarten fees may be assessed only to pupils who attend the classes on a voluntary basis. Fees may not be charged for pupils who are required by law or rules and regulations to attend the classes, including exceptional children in accord with an individualized education plan or children who are eligible for free or reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Act.
Revenues from the fees collected are deposited in the school district's general fund and are considered to be reimbursements.
S.B. 604 was introduced by the Senate Education Committee at the request of the Blue Valley School District (USD 229). The Blue Valley spokesperson explained that the district encompassed a very rapidly developing residential area wherein most of the families are two wage earners. Consequently, many five-year-olds attend kindergarten in the morning and move to some type of daycare for the afternoon. The school district believes there is a strong demand for full-day kindergarten programs, but it does not have sufficient funding to provide them. S.B. 604 provides one means of making it possible for the district to provide the programs.
Written testimony provided by the Kansas National Education Association (KNEA) indicated that it does not support S.B. 604. The testimony indicated that KNEA does support full-day kindergarten programs, but believes that the state should provide financial support of this option. In this respect, KNEA noted it had supported S.B. 498 which brings full-day kindergarten students fully into the state school funding program.
There were no other conferees.
The fiscal note on S.B. 604 indicated the bill would not impact state revenues or expenditures. The bill's provisions would increase revenue for school districts that charge fees for full-day kindergarten.
Information provided by the State Department of Education indicates that between one-fourth and one-fifth of kindergarten students presently attend full-day programs.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.